Multics and More VM
• “Multiplexed 24x7 computer utility”
Multi-user “time-sharing”, interactive and batch Processes, privacy, security, sharing, accounting “Decentralized system programming”
• Virtual memory with “automatic page turning” • “Two-dimensional VM” with segmentation
Avoids “complicated overlay techniques” Modular sharing and dynamic linking
• Hierarchical file system with symbolic names, automatic backup
• Dawn of “systems research” as an academic enterprise
• Segments as granularity of sharing
Protection rings and the segment protection level
• Segments have symbolic names in a hierarchical name space • Segments are “made known” before access from a process.
Apply access control at this point.
• Segmentation is a cheap way to extend the address space.
How does it affect page table structure? Is it really a fundamental improvement over flat VAS? Paging mechanisms are independent of segmentation.
• Dynamic linking resolves references across segments.
How does the Unix philosophy differ?
One-dimensional address space growing tables tables may bump
Allows each table to grow or shrink, independently
Segmentation with Paging: MULTICS (1)
Descriptor segment points to page tables Segment descriptor – numbers are field lengths
Segmentation with Paging: MULTICS (2)
A 34-bit MULTICS virtual address
Segmentation with Paging: MULTICS (3)
Conversion of a 2-part MULTICS address into a main memory address
Segmentation with Paging: MULTICS (4)
Simplified version of the MULTICS TLB
With appropriate support, virtual memory is a useful basis for accessing file storage.
• Bind file to a region of virtual memory with mmap syscall.
e.g., start address x virtual address x+n maps to offset n of the file
• Offers several advantages over stream file access.
uniform access for files and memory (just use pointers) performance: zero-copy reads and writes for low-overhead I/O but: program has less control over data movement style does not generalize to pipes, sockets, terminal I/O, etc.
• Sometimes called single-level store or virtual storage.
Using File Mapping to Build a VAS
executable image header text idata data wdata
symbol table relocation records
Memory-mapped files are used internally for demand-paged text and initialized static data.
text data text data segments
header text idata data wdata
symbol table relocation records
BSS user stack args/env
BSS and user stack are “anonymous” segments. 1. no name outside the process 2. not sharable 3. destroyed on process exit
VM Internals: Mach/BSD Example
address space (task)
start, len, prot start, len, prot start, len, prot start, len, prot
vm_map lookup enter
pmap pmap_enter() pmap_remove() One pmap (physical map) per virtual address space.
pmap_page_protect pmap_clear_modify pmap_is_modified pmap_is_referenced pmap_clear_reference
page cells (vm_page_t) array indexed by PFN
system-wide phys-virtual map
Memory objects “virtualize” VM backing storage policy. • source and sink for pages
triggered by faults ...or OS eviction policy
object->putpage(page) object->getpage(offset, page, mode) memory object
• manage their own storage • external pager has some control:
prefetch prewrite protect/enable
swap pager anonymous VM vnode pager mapped files extern pager DSM databases reliable VM etc.
• can be shared via vm_map()
(Mach extended mmap syscall)
Memory/Storage Hierarchy 101
Very fast 1ns clock Multiple Instructions per cycle
“CPU-DRAM gap” memory system architecture
P $ SRAM, Fast, Small Expensive (cache, registers) DRAM, Slow, Big,Cheaper (called physical or main) $1000-$2000 per GB or so
volatile “I/O bottleneck” VM and file caching
Magnetic, Rotational, Really Slow Seeks, Really Big, Really Cheap nonvolatile ($2-$10 to $200 per GB) => Cost Effective Memory System (Price/Performance)
I/O Caching 101
HASH(object) free/inactive list head
Data items from secondary storage are cached in memory for faster access time. methods:
object = get(tag)
Locate object if in the cache, else find a free slot and bring it into the cache.
hash bucket array free/inactive list tail
Release cached object so its slot may be reused for some other object.
I/O cache: a hash table with an integrated free/inactive list (i.e., an ordered list of eviction candidates).
Rationale for I/O Cache Structure
Goal: maintain K slots in memory as a cache over a collection of m items on secondary storage (K << m). 1. What happens on the first access to each item?
Fetch it into some slot of the cache, use it, and leave it there to speed up access if it is needed again later.
2. How to determine if an item is resident in the cache?
Maintain a directory of items in the cache: a hash table. Hash on a unique identifier (tag) for the item (fully associative).
3. How to find a slot for an item fetched into the cache?
Choose an unused slot, or select an item to replace according to some policy, and evict it from the cache, freeing its slot.
Mechanism for Cache Eviction/Replacement
Typical approach: maintain an ordered free/inactive list of slots that are candidates for reuse.
• Busy items in active use are not on the list.
E.g., some in-memory data structure holds a pointer to the item. E.g., an I/O operation is in progress on the item.
• The best candidates are slots that do not contain valid items.
Initially all slots are free, and they may become free again as items are destroyed (e.g., as files are removed).
• Other slots are listed in order of value of the items they contain.
These slots contain items that are valid but inactive: they are held in memory only in the hope that they will be accessed again later.
The effectiveness of a cache is determined largely by the policy for ordering slots/items on the free/inactive list.
defines the replacement policy
A typical cache replacement policy is Least Recently Used.
• Assume hot items used recently are likely to be used again. • Move the item to the tail of the free list on every release. • The item at the front of the list is the coldest inactive item.
• FIFO: replace the oldest item. • MRU/LIFO: replace the most recently used item.
The Page Caching Problem
Each thread/process/job utters a stream of page references.
• reference string: e.g., abcabcdabce..
The OS tries to minimize the number of faults incurred.
• The set of pages (the working set) actively used by each job changes relatively slowly. • Try to arrange for the resident set of pages for each active job to closely approximate its working set.
Replacement policy is the key.
• On each page fault, select a victim page to evict from memory; read the new page into the victim’s frame. • Most systems try to approximate an LRU policy.
VM Page Cache Internals
HASH(memory object/segment, logical block)
1. Pages in active use are mapped through the page table of one or more processes. 2. On a fault, the global object/offset hash table in kernel finds pages brought into memory by other processes. 3. Several page queues wind through the set of active frames, keeping track of usage. 4. Pages selected for eviction are removed from all page tables first.
Managing the VM Page Cache
Managing a VM page cache is similar to a file block cache, but with some new twists.
1. Pages are typically referenced by page table (pmap) entries. Must pmap_page_protect to invalidate before reusing the frame. 2. Reads and writes are implicit; the TLB hides them from the OS. How can we tell if a page is dirty? How can we tell if a page is referenced? 3. Cache manager must run policies periodically, sampling page state. Continuously push dirty pages to disk to “launder” them. Continuously check references to judge how “hot” each page is. Balance accuracy with sampling overhead.
The Paging Daemon
Most OS have one or more system processes responsible for implementing the VM page cache replacement policy.
• A daemon is an autonomous system process that periodically performs some housekeeping task.
The paging daemon prepares for page eviction before the need arises.
• Wake up when free memory becomes low. • Clean dirty pages by pushing to backing store.
prewrite or pageout
• Maintain ordered lists of eviction candidates. • Decide how much memory to allocate to file cache, VM, etc.
LRU Approximations for Paging
Pure LRU and LFU are prohibitively expensive to implement.
• most references are hidden by the TLB • OS typically sees less than 10% of all references • can’t tweak your ordered page list on every reference
Most systems rely on an approximation to LRU for paging.
• periodically sample the reference bit on each page
visit page and set reference bit to zero run the process for a while (the reference window) come back and check the bit again
• reorder the list of eviction candidates based on sampling
FIFO with Second Chance
Idea: do simple FIFO replacement, but give pages a “second chance” to prove their value before they are replaced.
• Every frame is on one of three FIFO lists:
active, inactive and free
• Page fault handler installs new pages on tail of active list. • “Old” pages are moved to the tail of the inactive list.
Paging daemon moves pages from head of active list to tail of inactive list when demands for free frames is high. Clear the refbit and protect the inactive page to “monitor” it.
• Pages on the inactive list get a “second chance”.
If referenced while inactive, reactivate to the tail of active list.
active list I. Restock inactive list by pulling pages from the head of the active list: clear the ref bit and place on inactive list (deactivation). II. Inactive list scan from head: 1. Page has been referenced? Return to tail of active list (reactivation). 2. Page has not been referenced? pmap_page_protect and place on tail of free list. 3. Page is dirty? Push to backing store and return it to inactive list tail (clean). Consume frames from the head of the free list (free). If free shrinks below threshhold, kick the paging daemon to start a scan (I, II).
free list Paging daemon typically scans a few times per second, even if not needed to restock free list.
FIFO-2C in Action (FreeBSD)
What Do the Pretty Colors Mean?
This is a plot of selected internal kernel events during a run of a process that randomly reads/writes its virtual memory.
• x-axis: time in milliseconds (total run is about 3 seconds) • y-axis: each event pertains to a physical page frame, whose PFN is given on the y-axis
The machine is an Alpha with 8000 8KB pages (64MB total) The process uses 48MB of virtual memory: force the paging daemon to do FIFO-2C bookkeeping, but little actual paging.
• events: page allocate (yellow-green), page free (red), deactivation
(duke blue), reactivation (lime green), page clean (carolina blue).
What to Look For
• Some low physical memory ranges are reserved to the kernel. • Process starts and soaks up memory that was initially free. • Paging daemon frees pages allocated to other processes, and the system reallocates them to the test process. • After an initial flurry of demand-loading activity, things settle down after most of the process memory is resident. • Paging daemon begins to run more frequently as memory becomes overcommitted (dark blue deactivation stripes). • Test process touches pages deactivated by the paging daemon, causing them to be reactivated. • Test process exits (heavy red bar).
Questions for Paged Virtual Memory
1. How do we prevent users from accessing protected data? 2. If a page is in memory, how do we find it?
Address translation must be fast.
3. If a page is not in memory, how do we find it? 4. When is a page brought into memory? 5. If a page is brought into memory, where do we put it? 6. If a page is evicted from memory, where do we put it? 7. How do we decide which pages to evict from memory?
Page replacement policy should minimize overall I/O.
Viewing Memory as a Unified I/O Cache
A key role of the I/O system is to manage the page/block cache for performance and reliability.
tracking cache contents and managing page/block sharing choreographing movement to/from external storage balancing competing uses of memory
Modern systems attempt to balance memory usage between the VM system and the file cache.
Grow the file cache for file-intensive workloads. Grow the VM page cache for memory-intensive workloads. Support a consistent view of files across different style of access. unified buffer cache
Shadow Objects and Copy-on-Write
Operating systems spend a lot of their time copying data.
• particularly Unix operating systems, e.g., fork() • cross-address space copies are common and expensive
Idea: defer big copy operations as long as possible, and hope they can be avoided completed.
• create a new shadow object backed by an existing object • shared pages are mapped readonly in participating spaces
read faults are satisfied from the original object (typically) write faults trap to the kernel
make a (real) copy of the faulted page install it in the shadow object with writes enabled
A Copy-on-Write Mapping
Warning: this is a fictional diagram intended to be representative only; any similarity to any specific system is purely coincidental.
start, len, prot
start, len, prot
start, len, prot
start, len, prot
Pros and Cons of Paged Virtual Memory
Demand paging gives the OS flexibility to manage memory...
• programs may run with pages missing
unused or “cold” pages do not consume real memory improves degree of multiprogramming
• program size is not limited by physical memory
program size may grow (e.g., stack and heap)
…but VM takes control away from the application.
• With traditional interfaces, the application cannot tell how much memory it has or how much a given reference costs. • Fetching pages on demand may force the application to incur I/O stalls for many of its references.
More Issues for VM Paging
1. synchronizing shared pages 2. clustered reads/writes from backing store, and prefetching 3. adapting replacement strategies (e.g., switch to MRU) 4. trading off memory between the file (UBC) and VM caches 5. trading off memory usage among processes 6. parameterizing the paging daemon:
Keep the paging devices fully utilized if pages are to be pushed, but don’t swamp the paging device. Balance LRU accuracy with reactivation overhead.
Synchronization Problems for a Cache
1. What if two processes try to get the same block concurrently, and the block is not resident? 2. What if a process requests to write block A while a put is already in progress on block A? 3. What if a get must replace a dirty block A in order to allocate a buffer to fetch block B?
This will happen if the block/buffer at the head of the free list is dirty. What if another process requests to get A during the put?
4. How to handle read/write requests on shared files atomically?
Unix guarantees that a read will not return the partial result of a concurrent write, and that concurrent writes do not interleave.